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Yoshinobu Yamamoto Gains Special Japanese Endorsement in New York Mets Camp: A Game-Changer in His Sweepstakes?

Published 11/18/2023, 10:00 AM EST

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The Yoshinobu Yamamoto free agency saga is reaching a turning point. This winter, the 25-year-old Japanese pitcher has left behind renowned MLB names in offseason hype. While top franchises are all interested in Yamamoto, the New York Mets are ahead in the race. To be precise, they are the fan-favorite club to land the Japanese pitcher this year. It may also have a little something to do with Kodai Senga’s hearty endorsement.

While the team has +220 odds to land the pitcher, per DraftKings, it’s not a guarantee. But Senga favoring the young pitcher may give the Mets a better chance than most.

Will Yoshinobu Yamamoto Land With the New York Mets?

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Kodai Senga recently stated that he won’t mind having Yamamoto as a teammate and is in fact pushing for it. Interestingly, Senga was a teammate of Yamamoto’s with Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic and has firsthand experience of watching his talent. The claim has a solid base and further strengthens the Mets’ chance to land one of the top free agents this offseason.

Discussing Yamamoto, Jon Morosi recently touched on the topic of the Mets pitching roster, which will perfectly fit the Japanese pitcher. Per him, Yamamoto is comfortable with the “pitch every six days” routine, which the Mets also follow with Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, Tylor Megill, Jose Butto, and Joey Lucchesi. If the 2022 Japan Series champion lands here, it’s another pro in the club’s favor.

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Additionally, the Mets require a player who can combine with Senga to fill the loopholes in their roster. They have plenty of talented players but lack a proper combination. Having the winner of three consecutive Sawamura Awards, equivalent to Cy Young, may just make the Amazin’ Mets lethal.

Not to mention, the club can easily afford Yamamoto with their deep-pocketed owner, and Kodai Senga’s recommendation makes him a top target. This wasn’t even the first time the Mets ace praised the Orix Buffaloes star.

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Senga’s Heartfelt Praises For Former Teammate

With his NPB performances, Yamamoto impressed the 30-year-old Mets pitcher. In August, Senga told the New York Post, “He’s been at the top level since he was very young, and I know he has a ton of talent. He is an amazing player.” Referring to his playing style, Senga said, “He’s an amazing pitcher all-around. He has velocity, he can throw hard. He has good control and command. He can also throw off-speed that has a ton of break.”

Read More: Not Shohei Ohtani, But New York Mets To Prioritize Yoshinobu Yamamoto During 2023-24 Offseason: Reports

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These statements more than justify his desire to have him in the Mets and continue the companionship in MLB. However, with whom Yoshinobu Yamamoto will begin his MLB journey remains to be seen.

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Written by:

Antara Bhattacharyya

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Antara Bhattacharyya is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. With a graduation degree in English literature from a reputed institution, she has been actively involved in content writing for quite some time. Her love for sports writing dates back to her college days, and today, she has cemented her place with astute coverage of Major League Baseball.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot